Medical practitioners often overlook search engine optimization (SEO), believing that prospective patients will find their website without any additional work. Even if your site receives some traffic, though, SEO is an invaluable marketing tool that can help your practice grow and reach new patients.
What Is SEO?
Before we explore its benefits for medical practices, let’s first take a closer look at SEO. Basically, SEO involves tweaking a website and building backlinks with the goal of ranking high in the search engines for one or more keywords. A medical practitioner, for instance, may want to rank his or her keyword for “city + doctor.” When someone searches for a doctor in their city, they’ll see the practitioner’s website listed at the top of the results.
#1) Google is the New Yellow Pages
Fewer and fewer patients are using phone books to find doctors. Instead, they are using search engines like Google. One study found that just 10 percent of patients use the Yellow Pages to find doctors whereas 54 percent use search engines.
Performing a Google search for a local doctor is faster, more convenient and arguably provides better results than sifting through a 500-page phone book. If your medical practice isn’t listed in Google, though, you’ll lose these prospects as patients.
#2) Target Medical Searches
Through SEO, you can answer common questions about the medical conditions. According to the Pew Research Center, 59 percent of U.S. adults searched for medical information online within the past year. You can capture these users and convert them into patients by publishing high-quality content on your website. Search engines will crawl your site’s content, ranking it accordingly in their index.
#3) Beat the Competition
According to recent statistics, there are more than one million licensed doctors operating in the United States. With an aging population of baby boomers, experts believe this number will increase in the years to come. The good news, however, is that medical practitioners can differentiate themselves from their competitors through SEO. As your site’s search ranking increases, some patients will choose your practice over your competitors with a lower ranking.
#4) More Clicks
Of course, SEO will attract more clicks on your site’s search listing. It’s no secret that high-ranking listings receive more clicks than low-ranking listings, but the difference may surprise you. A commonly heard statistic floating around touts that first-page listings receive 91.5 percent of all clicks whereas second-page listings receive just 4.8 percent.
#5) Improves Credibility
SEO can even improve your medical practice’s credibility. A high search ranking is essentially a seal of approval. If Google feels confident enough to rank your website at the top of the search results, it means your medical practice is trustworthy and credible. As a result, you’ll reap the benefits of more first-time patients booking appointments with your practice.
#6) Inform Patients About New Services
It’s not uncommon for medical practices to offer new services. Unless patients know about them, though, they won’t offer any real benefit. With SEO, you can inform patients about the addition of new services, equipment and physicians. Whenever a patient finds your website on Google, they’ll see information about your recently added services, allowing you to promote and sell them more easily.
#7) Low Cost
Finally, SEO is a cost-effective way to promote a medical practice online. In fact, it costs a fraction of the price of traditional advertising methods. For example, a local TV station might charge $200 to $1,500 on average for a 30-second commercial. Assuming you create multiple commercials for your medical practice, you can easily spend over $10,000 on this marketing strategy alone. SEO, on the other hand, requires only a minimal investment.
As you can see, SEO offers many benefits for medical practices. From targeting medical searches to improving credibility and announcing new services, there are countless reasons for using SEO. However, it’s important for medical practices to use the right approach when optimizing their sites for search traffic. Therefore, you should consider a professional SEO firm like Best Edge SEO to grow your medical practice’s presence on the web. Call Today to speak with us! (919) 256-3788